Immediate Roadside Prohibition


Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) reviews and defences are complicated and confusing. The Motor Vehicle Act explicitly states that the burden of proof is on the driver to prove that the prohibition should be revoked. Therefore, if you want to win your IRP review, you need an experienced IRP lawyer on your side.


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The consequences of your first 90 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) include:

  • 90 day driving prohibition
  • 30 day vehicle impoundment
  • $250 driver’s licence reinstatement fee
  • $500 fine
  • $700-1000 towing and storage costs
  • $930 mandatory participation in the Responsible Driver Program

Approximate total cost of your first IRP:


IMPORTANT NOTE: If this is your second or subsequent IRP in the last five years, you can also expect to receive an order to participate in the Interlock Ignition Program for a year (or more) at a cost of $1500+.

If you do not file for a review within the statutory 7 day filing period, there is nothing that anyone can do to help you. Click here to file for your review online.

Frequently Asked Questions About IRPs

Is an IRP the same as a DUI?

An Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) is a driving prohibition issued under section 215.41 of the Motor Vehicle Act (MVA). A DUI is an impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code. You will be served with a Notice of Driving Prohibition in both cases, but the driving prohibitions are slightly different.

When you are served with an IRP, you are not technically arrested, even though it may have seemed like you were at the time.

If you are being charged with a DUI, you will be arrested, informed of your Charter rights, and transported to a police detachment for further testing and processing. When you are released, you will be given a Notice of Driving Prohibition and a Promise to Appear with a court date.

Will I get a criminal record after receiving an IRP?

If you have received an IRP, you have not been charged criminally. Therefore, you cannot get a criminal record because of the IRP.

If you are charged and convicted of an impaired driving offence, you will have a criminal record.

Do I need a lawyer to fight my IRP?

In theory, you can do your own IRP review, but we absolutely do not recommend it. IRP defences are complicated and confusing for non-lawyers, and even for lawyers who do not focus on motor vehicle law. If you don’t know what arguments to make and what you need to prove, you cannot win your review. Importantly, you only have one chance to win the review, so you want to do it right the first time.

If you want the best chance to win your IRP review, you need to retain an experienced IRP lawyer as soon as possible after you receive your IRP. You only have 14 days to get your hearing done after the IRP is served so do not delay.

How long does the review process take?

Under the MVA, you only have 7 days from the date of the IRP to file for review. To be clear: that is 7 days, not 7 business days. So, if you receive an IRP on a Monday, you only have until the following Monday to file for review.

Under the MVA, you only have 14 days from the date of the IRP to get your hearing done. To be clear: that is 14 days, not 14 business days. If you receive an IRP on the 1st of the month, your hearing must be completed by the 15th.

Under the MVA, the adjudicator only has 21 days from the date of the IRP to issue a written decision. To be clear: that is 21 days, not 21 business days. However, adjudicators are often unable to render a decision in time and the MVA permits them to issue an extension. So, while you cannot get an extension, except in exceptional circumstances, the adjudicator can (and often will) issue an extension.

If you file for a review, you should get a decision within 21 days of the date of the IRP. However, you could end up waiting a lot longer to find out if you have been successful or not.

I didn’t do anything wrong so why were the police allowed to pull me over?

The MVA gives police broad authority to stop and detain drivers. So even if you didn’t do anything wrong, they can still pull you over. Grounds for a valid traffic stop include checking for driver’s licence / insurance, ensuring the mechanical fitness of the vehicle, and checking for driver sobriety. Critically, even if you were driving perfectly, the validity of the traffic stop is not a valid ground of review.

I didn’t look / sound / smell like I had been drinking so how can the police officer prove that they had grounds to administer a breath test?

First, it’s important to understand that reasonable suspicion is a very low standard. If the police officer detects an odour of liquor on your breath or you admit to consuming alcohol within 3 hours of driving, they can make a lawful demand for an ASD sample.

Second, under the MVA, the burden of proof is on the driver. That means that the police officer can say whatever they want, and you must disprove it. So, if they say that they smelled liquor on your breath, you must prove that they didn’t or couldn’t have. That can be difficult to prove because it’s essentially your word against the word of a police officer.

Third, as of December 2018, police officers can issue mandatory alcohol screening demands that do not require them to form suspicion at all. This leads to a bunch of other question, for example, when is a mandatory alcohol screening demand not valid?

This is why you need an experienced IRP defence lawyer. The right lawyer knows which questions to ask and which answers will help you win your review.

Can I get a temporary driver’s licence, just so I can go to work?

No, there is no provisional licence available that will permit you to drive if you have been served with an IRP. The only thing you can do to get your licence back is file for an IRP review.

I have more questions. Where can I get more information?

Contact us today and we will be happy to address any questions you may have about your driving prohibition.